In the public school I attended growing up, there were labels. One glance around the cafeteria and you could see students sitting with their particular group, and once you received a certain label it was almost impossible to shake. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that my kids aren’t growing up with stigmas attached to them. They are free to be whatever kids they want to be whenever they want.
Encouragement to Try New Things
Not every child will necessarily be social or sporty or intellectual. If you want your child to develop into a person with various interests you will need to encourage areas that don’t come naturally to them. I find myself telling my kids over and over that they don’t have to be the star player but they do have to try to learn the sport and work hard for their team. So many times, I see parents giving their kids a pass instead of pushing them to learn something new. Sometimes it’s harder for the parent to accept a child’s lesser ability than it is for the child. If you encourage your child to go for new opportunities regardless of the outcome, he will start to build up the confidence to branch out into new things. Curious how other parents to this? Take a look: https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2017/09/18/13-things-mentally-strong-parents-dont-do/#5fc434b04273
Take a close look at your priorities. What are you placing value on for your kids? How do your kids spend their time outside of their academic homeschooling lessons? If your priorities are only in one area then you are limiting your child’s exposure to other aspects of his education that will allow him to be well-rounded. I see this happening with sports. A family invests so much time driving to and from games that there is little time for anything else. Your child might be a soccer star but what else can they do? If you want a well-rounded child, it has to be a priority for you.
So, what are the payoffs for raising and nurturing well-rounded kids? It’s like having a diversified portfolio. Ideally, you want your child to be able to enjoy various aspects of life, to draw worth from more than one well. This will help them to identify with all different kinds of people. They will be able to converse about and understand multiple areas of life. Well-rounded people are fun and interesting to be around because of the sense of balance they exude. There is also the plus side of developing deeper character while learning things that don’t come naturally. Having to work at a sport or a musical instrument will bring the qualities of determination and perseverance to life which are invaluable as your child grows into adulthood.
Looking for some ideas? Here are a few areas to consider: art, music, organized sports, gardening, hiking, individual sports such as biking or running, forestry, problem-solving clubs such as Odyssey of the Mind, coding, robotics, Lego club. Talk to your kids! I’m sure they have a few ideas of what they would like to try next. They homeschool: they can be whatever they want!
Links for some of the above mentioned: https://www.odysseyofthemind.com
Global Student Network offers a variety of online curriculum options to fit the needs of any homeschool learning style. Click here to learn more about the variety of curriculum offered.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.